00:11 GMT30 September 2020
Listen Live
    Middle East
    Get short URL

    The administration of US President Barack Obama is considering the reduction of an expensive and ineffective training program for factions of the Syrian opposition to fight the Islamic State, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources in the US Department of Defense.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier this week, the Pentagon acknowledged that the administration's plan to defeat ISIL was not working. Last year, US Congress approved $500 million to train and equip around 5,000 Syrian rebels to combat ISIL, but it has been recently revealed that only a handful of those fighters have actively battled the extremist group, according to the Department of Defense.

    According to the official cited by the WSJ on Thursday, the training program could be modified to focus on empowering specially trained militants on the ground to call in US airstrikes.

    The official added that political and military indicators justifying the move include an escalating global refugee crisis.

    The issue is expected to be put to the Obama administration agenda later on Friday, when cabinet members deliberate the fight against ISIL, another official told the newspaper.

    There are some 100 moderate Syrian rebels currently in training under the US program, according to Pentagon policy chief Christine Wormuth.

    Syria has been engulfed in a civil war for over four years, as government forces battle so-called moderate opposition factions and a number of extremist groups, including ISIL.

    Beginning in 2014, an international coalition led by the United States has conducted airstrikes against ISIL positions without seeking approval or support from Damascus, as the West does not recognize Assad as the legitimate leader of Syria. The coalition has been training and equipping the so-called moderate opposition.

    Russia has called for cooperation between all belligerents of the Syrian civil war to prevent regional anarchy, a void that is strongly suspected would be quickly filled by ISIL.


    Rebels Without a Clue: US Intelligence Doctored to Reflect Spin on ISIL
    Kidding? US Uncertain About ‘Disposition’ of All Trained Syrian Rebels
    Rebels Blame Turkey After US-Trained 'Moderates' Captured Inside Syria
    Daesh, moderate Syrian rebels, Barack Obama, Syria, United States
    Community standardsDiscussion